Exercise-Induced Asthma

“Never tell your resolution beforehand,

or it’s twice as onerous a duty.”

-John Selden

So how many out there have getting fit/ exercising more at the top of your New Year’s Resolution list? Well you are certainly not alone; USA.gov lists getting fit as one of those resolutions that are popular year after year. Not that much of a surprise huh? What may come as a surprise is the number of people that suffer from Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA), also known as Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB).

Symptoms of EIA include wheezing, tightness of chest, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain (rare, but not unheard of). Now some of these symptoms can be attributed to being out of shape and doing more than your body is accustomed to, but the time of onset is different. Trouble breathing for those with EIA generally occurs 5-20 minutes after the start of exercise, and/or within 5-20 minutes AFTER exercise. Talk to your doctor if this sounds like something you’re struggling with.

Here’s a fun fact: according to WebMD, one out of every 6 athletes in the 1996 Olympic Games had EIA.  It certainly does not mean you have to put an end to that get fit resolution if you are diagnosed with this, just keep these few things in mind. Activities that involve short intermittent periods of exertion are more tolerated than activities that involve long periods of exertion. For example choose volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, walking, and wrestling instead of soccer, distance running, basketball, or field hockey. Also steer clear of cold weather sports like ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. Swimming, on the other hand, is a great sport due to the warm, moist environment. Follow your doctor’s advice and treatment plan, and be diligent with warming up and cooling down.

Also try to steer clear of strenuous exercise when you have a viral infection, if the temperatures are low, or pollen and air pollution levels are high. This is great example of when an asthma action plan and monitoring with a Peak Flow Meter would be very useful. Be sure to check out the sources below, there is a TON of great information out there. More than one little ol’ blog can contain. Be sure to comment below if you have any other tips for those with Exercise-Induced Asthma! And as always, check out our website for more information about our products (like the Mini Wright Peak Flow Meter).


“Exercise-Induced Asthma: Overview.” National Jewish Health.

“Tips to Remember: Asthma and Exercise.” American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.

“Exercise-Induced Asthma.” WebMD.

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